The Community Health and Research Initiative (CRI) with the support from the USAID Integrated Health Programme (IHP), has stepped up its advocacies to ensure improved quality, gender sensitive and all- inclusive primary health care services in Kebbi State.
The Project Manager of the initiative, Alhaji Salisu, Muhammad Musa, made this known at a one- day health sector stakeholders’ quarterly accountability forum in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday.
He said that the forum was organised by the initiative in collaboration with the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to disseminate a draft on the state community and transparency and accountability scorecards with the relevant state ministries, agencies and other partners.
“The aim of this activity is to promote partnership between CSOs, networks, government officials and other implementing partners, to share updates and Kebbi state performance on 2021 budget releases for health expenditure.
“It is also aimed at updating budget for health care performance fund’s implementation, other health indicators using scorecards and agree on way forward to improve quality, gender sensitive and all-inclusive primary healthcare services,” Musa said.
He also recalled that the stakeholders met on June 10,and identified as well as prioritized key health advocacy issues in the state and built consensus on five key health advocacy issues.
“These five issues are, inadequate or delay in release of key PHC services and facilities upgrading or renovation budget; lack of political will to fully implement the state health insurance; and non fully implementation of primary healthcare under one roof.
“Inadequate human resources at primary healthcare level and no agency for drug management agency.
“These are the advocacies we are stepping up in order to ensure the improvement of gender sensitive and all – inclusive primary healthcare services in state government,” he said.
Musa explained that Community Health and Research Initiative (CHR) is a national NGO established in November, 2000 with mission of stimulating collective response in the country and address the needs for improved quality health care services.
“These quality healthcare services are those that affect women and children and will be done through advocacy, accountability, mobilization, training, research and information sharing that influence evidence -based policies and programs.
“The CHR is implementing USAID Integrated health program’s grant in Bauchi and Kebbi State titled “Advocacy and Accountability Grant for Improved Governance, Resourcing and Stewardship of the Primary Health Care System for a period of five month May 2021 to September 2021.
“The project objectives are to advocate for increased resourcing, prudent spending and investments for primary health care services and strengthen local networks’ capacity to institutionalize accountability mechanisms, citizen engagement and monitoring of service provision of primary healthcare services in Bauchi and Kebbi states,” he said.
In his remarks, the state Executive Secretary of Primary Healthcare Service Development Agency (PHCDA), Dr Abubakar Ka’oje, thanked the CRI for organizing and inviting the stakeholders in order to improve on transparency and accountability in the primary healthcare services.
“We need that transparency and accountability not only in healthcare sector but also all human endeavours.
“More than ever before, we are realising the importance of accountability and transparency, hence we have adopted the idea of brining primary healthcare under one roof in the state,” he said.
Ka’oje assured of the agency readiness and commitment to support and provide the needed instruments in order to entrench the values of transparency and accountability in the state.
At the end of the forum, the formation of Kebbi State Led Accountability Mechanism (KESLAM) was inaugurated with mandate to speak with one voice on health issues in the state with representations from Kebbi Advocacy Core Group, Kebbi Coalition of NGOs, Kebbi Coalition of CSOs and the Media.